Tag Archives: bitterness

God’s Recipe (OBJ LESSON)


Cake - ChocolateTime

10 minutes
Description

This object lesson shows how God uses both good and bad things in our life to make us into the person we are.  It uses the analogy of baking a cake with all its ingredients.

Scriptures

  • Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • Flour (about half a cup)
  • Baking soda (about half a cup)
  • Salt (about half a cup)
  • Vinegar (about half a cup)
  • Baking powder (about half a cup)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (about half a cup)
  • Sugar (about half a cup)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Milk (about half a cup)
  • Vegetable oil (about half a cup)
  • Plastic spoons (10)
  • Snack cakes (10 – chocolate flavor – something from Little Debbie’s or something similar)
  • Table (1)
  • Chef costume (optional – apron, chef’s hat wooden spoon, etc.)
  • Slip of paper with Romans 8:28 written on it.
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Line your ingredients up in small containers on a table in the front of the room.
  • Place a spoon in front of each ingredient.
  • Write the Scripture on the slip of paper, and put the slip of paper in your chef’s hat or somewhere else you can easily get to it during the lesson.
  • Hide the snack cakes somewhere that no one will be able to see them.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “How many of you like cake?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Me, too!  I love it!”
  • “Hey, if you like cake, maybe you can help me with something!”
  • “Can I get ten volunteers to come up front?” (Select 10 volunteers.  Have each one take up a position behind one of the ingredients.  If you don’t have enough participants, have some of them taste more than one ingredient in the upcoming demonstration.)
  • “So, I like cake a lot, and you like cake a lot, right?”
  • “Then, let’s make some cake!”
  • “I have this recipe.”  (Hold up a sheet of paper to represent your recipe.)
  • “It says we need flour, baking soda, salt, vinegar, baking powder, cocoa, sugar, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil.”  (Point out the different ingredients as you mention them.)
  • “That’s why I need you guys.  Each one of you is responsible for one of these ingredients.”
  • “So, let’s see…the recipe says, ‘Preheat oven to 350 degrees.’”
  • “Oops, I forgot to do that part.”
  • “’Grease and flour two, nine-inch cake pans.’”
  • “Uh-oh…I didn’t do that, either.”
    “’Mix all the ingredients for three minutes.  Then pour into cake pans and bake in over for 35 minutes…’”
  • “35 minutes!  That’s WAY too long!  We don’t have that kind of time.”
  • “I’ve got a better idea!”
  • “Let’s just eat the ingredients one at a time.”
  • “They are all going to the same place anyway, right?”
  • “When they get to our bellies, they will mix together to make a cake!”
  • “So, here’s where I need your help!”
  • “I need each of you to take one spoonful of your ingredient and tell us how it tastes.” (Most won’t want to try their ingredient, but urge them a few times.  If they still don’t want to do it, say, “Oh, all right!  I’ll try it.” Then, make a big show of how bad it tastes.  Gag, sputter, buckle your knees, gasp, whatever…  Even if they try their ingredient first, you should also try it.  The only exception would be the eggs, because eating raw eggs might make you sick.)
  • “That was absolutely terrible!”
  • “Only the sugar and milk tasted good.”
  • “I love cake, and it always tastes soooooo good!  Why do the ingredients taste soooooo bad?” (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Oh!  You mean they only taste good when you mix them all together?”
  • “That reminds me of a Bible verse!”  (Take off your hat, and pull out the slip of paper with the Scripture on it.  Ask one of your volunteers to read it aloud.)
  • “This Scripture means that God uses ALL THINGS for our good – good things and bad things – good ingredients like the sugar and milk and bad ingredients like the baking soda and vinegar.”
  • “God mixes them all together in our lives to help make us into the people He wants us to become.”
  • “This won’t happen right away…it will take time.”
  • “Many times in life, we have to go through tings that are really bitter and unpleasant.”
  • “At the time, they seem terrible, but God has a recipe, and He will take that bad thing and make something good out of it if we will just be patient and wait for Him to work.”
  • “But if we will trust God with even the bitter stuff in our lives, He will bring the sweetness out – just like in these cakes that I forgot I bought this weekend!!!”  (Give each volunteer one of the snack cakes.)
  • “How do those taste?”  (Acknowledge responses.  Then thank and dismiss your volunteers.  Use the Debriefing Questions and the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the learning.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Why do you think God allows us to go through the bitter and difficult things in our lives?
  2. Have you ever been through something terrible but then seen later how God used it to help you?  (Allow one or two to share their examples.)
  3. Based on what you’ve learned, how will you handle those bitter and difficult times in the future?

 

Rhyme Time

Sometimes we’ve got to wait

For God to make it great!

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Filed under Failure, faith, God's Plan, Object Lesson, struggles, Suffering

Burden Buckets (OBJ LESSON)


Time

15 minutes

 

Description

When we carry negative emotions in our heart, it places a burden on our spirit.  While we may not feel this burden in the same way we feel the weight of carrying something physically heavy, it still has the potential to exhaust us, to take away our joy and to cause us to lose hope.  Participants will carry heavy buckets of rocks that help them to understand the weight of carrying negative emotions like bitterness, hatred, fear, guilt, and others.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • 1 Peter 5:7

 

Materials

  • 2 large buckets with handles.  Each bucket should be labeled, “YOUR HEART.”
  • 30 lbs or more of large rocks, each labeled with words like, “Bitterness,” “Hatred,” “Fear,” “Guilt,” “Sadness,” “Unforgiveness,” “Rage,” “Shame,” “Stress,” “Worry.”
  • Thick marker for making labels
  • Notecards or paper for making labels
  • Tape for making labels
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Label the buckets and the rocks, and set everything out in the teaching area.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Sometimes we carry some heavy burdens in our hearts.”
  • “Burdens like…” (Pick up a rock and read the label. Then put it into one of the buckets. Pick up another rock and do the same, but this time, put it into the other bucket. Repeat the process until all the rocks are in the buckets.)
  • “These buckets represent our hearts, and all these rocks represent the burdens that pile up in them over time.”
  • “When we carry negative emotions in our heart, it places a burden on our spirit.”
  • “Who would like to try carrying these burdens?” (Allow a participant to carry the buckets (both at one time if possible) to see how far he or she can carry them.  While doing this, ask the volunteer the following questions.)
  • “How does that feel?” (Listen for response.)
  • “How long do you think you could carry it?” (Listen for response.)
  • “Now, set it down. How does that feel?” (Listen for response.)
  • “Why don’t you take the rocks out of the buckets and lift them again?” (Allow volunteer to do this, and then ask the following question.)
  • “How does it feel to carry them now?” (Listen for response.  Then, thank your volunteer, and allow him or her to take a seat.)
  • “While we may not feel the burdens in our hearts in the same way we feel the weight of carrying something physically heavy, they still have the potential to exhaust us, to take away our joy and to cause us to lose hope.”
  • “We remove them from our hearts by forgiving those who hurt us and by taking our burdens to God and asking for His help to let them go.” (Have volunteer read 1 Peter 5:7.)
  • “God cares for you!  He knows about your burdens, and He is just waiting for you to ask Him for His help.”
  • “So bring Him the heavy rocks in your heart, and let Him lighten your load.”

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Filed under Anger, Fear, Object Lesson, Peter, Worry

Let Go, Let God, Get Free! (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches how bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred and resentment create a trap for us and how forgiveness and turning things over to God (especially when we are having a hard time forgiving in our own power) gets us free from the trap.  It uses Chinese finger traps to illustrate the point.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50 (Particularly Genesis 50 when Joseph forgives his brothers)
  • Colossians 3:13

 

Materials

  • Finger traps – 1 per person with several extras in case they break (they are notoriously poorly made – You can order them through anyone you like, but they are cheaply available through Oriental Trading. Order early, because it may take a few weeks for them to arrive. Approximately $10 for 72, plus shipping and handling.  The link to Oriental Trading: http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/search/processRequest.do?Ntt=finger+trap&x=0&y=0&requestURI=searchMain&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0)
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Let Go, Let God, Get Free – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – any size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Put enough finger traps into each Ziplock bag for each person to have one (and maybe a few extras).
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Let Go, Let God, Get Free!” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “Colossians 3:13 says, ‘Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.’” (NIRV)
  • “This challenge is about how bitterness, resentment, hatred and unforgiveness become a trap for us.”
  • “How many of you have ever seen a Chinese finger trap before?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Let’s say that this finger trap (hold up a finger trap for everyone to see) is bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness.”
  • “When you are feeling these emotions toward someone, it’s like putting your fingers in the trap.”  (Demonstrate for them.)
  • “Sometimes you want to get free from these emotions, but you can’t.”  (Pull your fingers apart.  The finger trap should tighten up on them and prevent your fingers from getting free.)
  • “You might even want to forgive that person, but the trap of bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness won’t let you go.”  (Demonstrate trying to pull your fingers out again.)
  • “These are times when it may not be possible for you to forgive that person.  It’s just too hard.”
  • “So, here’s what you should do.”
  • “First, LET GO! – This means, stop trying so hard to do what you can’t do on your own.”
  • “Next, LET GOD! – This means, let God do what you can’t do.  Pray to Him, and tell Him what you are struggling with.  Ask Him to give you His love and His forgiveness for that person.”
  • “Finally, GET FREE! – It’s like a miracle!  When you stop trying so hard and let God do what you can’t do, you get free!  The bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness will disappear as God replaces it with His love and His forgiveness.”
  • “Let me show you what I mean with this finger trap.”  (As you demonstrate, say the three steps out loud.  First show them that trying in your own power just makes the trap tighter.  Then, LET GO! – Push your fingers together so that they meet in the middle of the trap.  LET GOD! – Ask someone else to hold the finger trap (they are representing God), while you carefully and slowly pull your fingers out.  GET FREE! – Show the group that your fingers are free from the trap of bitterness, resentment, hatred and unforgiveness.)
  • “See how it works?”
  • “When I can’t do it myself, I stop trying and just pray that God will change my heart for me.  Then I get free!”
  • “So what are the three steps again?”  (Let the group tell you several times what the three steps are in order – LET GO! LET GOD! GET FREE!)
  • “Want to try it on your own?” (Pass out the finger traps and let them play with them.  Try to get them to go through the three steps and say them out loud several times.)
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can help them forgive.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Why is it important to forgive people when they hurt you?
  2. Why is it so hard to forgive people sometimes?
  3. Do you think these three steps will work for you?  Why or why not?

 

Rhyme Time

Jesus helps me to forgive; Holding a grudge is no way to live!

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Filed under forgiveness, Joseph, Object Lesson, Relationships, Teaching

Good Seed – Bad Seed (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Description

This object lesson teaches about wounds that we get when people or circumstances hurt us.  These take up a place in our hearts, because our hearts are where we keep things that are very important to us (both good and bad).  Wounds are very fertile places in our hearts, so both God and Satan will try to plant seeds there.  God’s seeds will turn our wounds into something beautiful, but Satan’s seeds will turn them into something painful, shameful, bitter and/or destructive.  (Note: You will need a break in the lesson and/or a helper to plant the flowers and the weeds in the soil.)

Scriptures

  •   Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • 1 large, heart-shaped pan or container (open at the top and about 3-5 inches deep – will be used as a planter for flowers and weeds and filled with soil.)
  • 2 large, over-sized “packages” of seeds (They should be really big – preferably 2 ft tall for an exaggerated effect.  They could created out of flipchart paper or something else (like a large mailing envelope.)
  • 1 watering can (to water the flowers)
  • Thick marker
  • Sheet of paper
  • Tape
  • Flowers (these can be real or fake – enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Weeds (these can be real or fake – about 10 of these)
  • Soil (enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Seeds to go in each of the seed packages (It doesn’t matter what kind as long as they are large enough to be visible.  Sunflower seeds would work well.  Put several handfuls into each package.)

 

Preparation

  • Spread the soil around the heart-shaped container.
  • Fill the watering can with water, and have it ready nearby the teaching area.
  • Put the flowers and weeds somewhere where they can’t be seen and where you will be able to plant them later without being seen.
  • Practice the script.
  • Label one package of seeds in large letters that say, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.”
  • Label the other package of seeds with large letters that say, “Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”
  • Use the sheet of paper, marker and tape to label the watering can with a sign that says, “Living Water.”

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Sometimes bad things happen to us.”
  • “People mistreat us or hurt us, we have a bad experience, we make a mistake and have to suffer from the consequences…”
  • “These things happen to everyone, but sometimes the experience hurts us so much that it creates a wound in our heart.”
  • “A wound in your heart is a painful place; it hurts just to think about it.”
  • “When you remember what happened, you feel terrible sadness or anger or jealousy or shame and embarrassment.”
  • “Don’t raise your hand, but just think to yourself – do you have a wound like that in your heart?”  (Allow participants a few moments to consider and remember a wound that they have suffered.)
  • “I imagine that we can all think of at least on painful experience in our lives that just won’t go away.”  (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
  • “A wound is a really fertile place in your heart; that means that it’s a place where things can grow really well.”
  • “It’s really fertile because of the pain from the wound.  That pain can change you – it can change you for good or change you for evil.”
  • “Let’s imagine that this heart-shaped container represents a wound in your heart.”  (Show the heart-shaped container, and have the volunteer put his/her fingers through the soil.)
  • (To the volunteer…) “Does that look like some fertile soil to you?”  (Acknowledge response.)
  • “It’s really good soil, and you could grow almost anything in there.”
  • “Well, there are two ‘gardeners’ who are very interested in growing things in that soil; one is God, and one is Satan.”
  • “They both want to grow things in your wound, because they know how fertile the soil is.”
  • “God brings His seeds.”  (Hand the large package of God’s seeds (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it up where everyone can see.)
  • “God’s seeds will grow into the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “That means that God can even take the wounds in your heart, the worst things that you have ever experienced, and turn them into blessings for you!”
  • “But Satan also brings his seeds.” (Set the God seeds aside and hand the volunteer the other package of seeds.)
  • “Satan’s seeds will grow into the fruits of evil, which are the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit: Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”   (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “Now, these two sets of seeds are going to compete to grow in the soil of your heart.”
  • “Since the wound is so fertile, they are definitely going to grow, but you get to decide which type of seeds fill up your heart.”
  • “Do you want the seeds that grow into the fruit of the Spirit to fill your heart, or do you want the seeds of evil to grow there?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “If you want the fruit of the Spirit to grow, you’ve got to water those seeds every day with Living Water.”  (Hand your volunteer the watering can, making sure that the audience can see the “Living Water” label.  Have the volunteer sprinkle some water over the soil.)
  • “Living Water is the Word of God – the Bible.”
  • “When you water with Living Water every day, the seeds that turn into the fruit of the Spirit are going to grow.”
  • “But if you do nothing, the weeds of evil will grow instead.”
  • “They don’t need any help to grow, because they grow naturally all by themselves.”
  • “The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, only grows when you spend time getting closer to God each day by studying His Word, praying and doing your best to follow what His Word says to do.”
  • “Let’s give these some time to grow and see what happens.”  (Hand the heart-shaped container to a helper (or take a break) to take away and plant the flowers and weeds.  Thank and dismiss your volunteer.  Plant the flowers all around the heart, and insert weeds at different places.  Then, bring the container back into the teaching area to finish the lesson.)
  • “Let’s pretend that some time has passed.”
  • “Our flowers that represent the fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) have grown up, because we have been watering them every day with Living Water by spending time praying, reading God’s Word and doing what it says to do.”
  • “Unfortunately, some weeds of evil (Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control) have also grown up in our heart.”
  • “That’s the way Satan works.  He never gives up.”
  • “Even when we are working really hard to let God use the wound to bless us and those around us, Satan will still plant seeds of evil around God’s seeds.”
  • “You will have forgiven the person who hurt you, but every once in awhile, feelings of hate or mean thoughts will spring up in your heart.”
  • “You may have trusted God with the mistake you made, but every once in awhile, feelings of deep sadness or sinful thoughts or actions might spring up.”
  • “Don’t be surprised when this happens…it’s normal.”
  • “What you have to do is pull those weeds.”  (Ask for volunteer to come up and carefully pull the weeds out without uprooting the flowers.)
  • “The way you get those weeds out of your heart is by giving them to God whenever you notice them in your heart.”
  • “Pray to God, and ask Him to take away your bad feelings and your bad thoughts.  Ask Him to help you stay away from bad actions.”
  • “Keep the garden of your heart clean from weeds so that the fruit of the Spirit can really grow and make your heart beautiful.”
  • “In that way, God will take a wound in your heart and make it into something beautiful for you and everyone God puts in your life.”  (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)

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Filed under blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Protection, God's Will, Healing, heart, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, purity

Holding a Grudge (OBJ LESSON)


Time

15-20 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Description

This object lesson teaches about the danger of holding a grudge (i.e., choosing not to forgive someone).  It uses an illustration from Where the Red Fern Grows, a great book about a boy and his hunting dogs, by Wilson Rawls.  In the book, the boy learns about an unethical hunter, who traps raccoons by using a weakness in their nature.  The lesson compares the trapper to Satan and the trapper’s methods to Satan’s way of trapping us with our own bitterness.

Scriptures

  •  Matthew 18:21-35

Materials

  • 2-3 foot log
  • Drill with a large bit (like the kind used for drilling doorknob holes into doors) and a small bit (the same diameter as your pegs or pins)
  • 3-4 pegs or pins (about 5” long each)
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • 2” ball of aluminum foil
  • (A diagram of this build is in the file called, “JJ – Holding a Grudge – Diagram (OBJ LESSON)” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)
  • ALTERNATIVE: If you don’t want to build the trap, you could just show the diagram as an illustration.

Preparation

  • Drill a large hole into the side of the log – large and deep enough for someone to stick his/her hand in and grab a 2” ball of aluminum foil.
  • Hammer pegs or pins into the hole at a 45 degree angle so that the volunteer can get their hand in and comfortably grab the ball of foil but so that he/she will not be able to remove their hand while still clutching the foil.
  • Sand down the rough spots to protect your volunteer from splinters.
  • Put the aluminum foil ball into the hole.
  • These materials will make a trapping device to illustrate how Satan tricks us into holding onto something worthless even though we can’t get free from the trap while we hold it.  A volunteer will put his/her hand into the hole and grab the aluminum foil ball.  The simple solution would be to let go of the ball and get free, but sometimes we want what the ball represents too much.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There’s a great book by Wilson Rawls, called Where the Red Fern Grows.  It’s about a young boy and his hunting dogs.”
  • “At one point in the story, the boy finds evidence of an unethical hunter.”
  • “The hunter would trap raccoons by using a weakness in their nature.”
  • “He would take a fallen log like this one.”  (Gesture to log.)
  • “And he would drill a hole in the top, like this one.”  (Gesture to hole.)
  • “Then, he would hammer nails through the wood into the hole at a 45 degree angle, like these.”  (Gesture to pegs.)
  • “Finally, he would drop something shiny into the hole like this.”  (Drop in aluminum ball.  Ask for a volunteer to come up and pretend to be a raccoon.)
  • “My volunteer will represent a raccoon that the hunter is trying to trap.”
  • “Raccoons LOVE shiny things!”
  • “They can’t resist them.”
  • “So, when a raccoon sees something shiny, he reaches for it.”
  • “The raccoon would put his hand into the hole in the log and grab the aluminum foil ball.”  (Have volunteer reach into the trap and make a fist around the aluminum ball.)
  • “But while he had his fist around the ball, his hand was too big to pull his hand out of the hole.”
  • “He would struggle and pull for hours, but he wouldn’t let go of the ball.”  (Have volunteer pretend to struggle to pull fist out of the hole.  He/she can’t let go of the ball in order to get free.)
  • “Even when he saw the hunter coming, he wanted the shiny thing so much that he wouldn’t let go to save his life.”
  • “So, that’s how the hunter traps the raccoon.  Now, let’s make a comparison to how Satan traps people.”
  • “Let’s pretend that this trap is really a trap called unforgiveness.”
  • “My volunteer will represent each of us, and in this comparison, we are like the raccoon in the story.”
  • “The trap is a trap of not forgiving someone when they hurt you or disappoint you or forget about you or mistreat you.”
  • “The shiny ball is called a ‘grudge.’”
  • “A grudge is a bad feeling you have against someone.”
  • “It can be anger, bitterness or resentment.  It’s a bad feeling, but it feels good.”
  • “It feels justified and right sometimes to be mad at someone.”
  • “Do you ever feel that way?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “I do.  It’s not good to feel that way, but sometimes we are tempted to.”
  • “When you hold the grudge, it’s very satisfying.”
  • “We spend lots of time thinking about how badly the other person treated us and how good it would feel to get even with them.”
  • “We feel like we SHOULD be mad at them.  If we don’t stay mad at them, then they will get away with the bad thing that they did without having to pay for it.”
  • “We want them to be punished for the bad thing that they did.”
  • “But here’s the problem…the grudge looks shiny and feels good to hold, but it’s really just GARBAGE!”
  • “There’s no real value in it.  Even if you got it out of the trap, it wouldn’t make your life better.”
  • “It wouldn’t fix any of your problems.”
  • “It wouldn’t even make you feel better, because it doesn’t do what it promises.”
  • “You think getting even makes you feel better, but it actually makes you feel worse.”
  • “And the whole time you are holding a grudge, Satan is using it to destroy you.”
  • “Satan is like the trapper who comes to kill the raccoon.”  (Have volunteer struggle to pull the grudge out of the trap as you pretend to be a trapper coming to get him/her.  Look menacing, but don’t scare your audience if they are young.)
  • “You can try to get free, but it’s not possible while you are holding onto the grudge.”
  • “Satan will use the grudge to steal your life – your joy and happiness – from you.”
  • “As long as you hold the grudge, you will be unhappy – I guarantee it.”
  • “The only good solution is to let go of the grudge.”
  • “Open your hand, and release it.”  (Demonstrate with volunteer.)
  • “This is called forgiveness.”
  • “It’s letting go of your right to get even with the other person.”
  • “It doesn’t mean that you have to like the person or have a relationship with him or her, but it does mean that you can’t wish bad things about them anymore.”
  • “When you forgive, you let go of the grudge and get free from the trap.”
  • “When you let go of the grudge, you show that you are trusting God to take care of the situation and do what He thinks is best.”
  • “Only God is wise enough to know what needs to be done in your situation.”
  • “When you trust God to handle bad situations, your happiness and joy will return.”
  • “So, here’s how it works again…”  (Have volunteer reach back in and grab the grudge but then demonstrate the next three steps with you.)
  • “Step 1 – Let go (of the grudge).” (Have volunteer let go of the grudge but keep his/her hand in the trap.)
  • “Step 2 – Let God (take care of things).”  (Have volunteer look up to God and maybe raise his/her other hand to demonstrate giving the grudge to God.)
  • “Step 3 – Get Free (from the trap of unforgiveness)!” (Have volunteer pull their hand from the trap and put both hands in the air to show that he/she is free.)
  • “Let’s say the three steps together – Let God, Let God, Get Free!”  (Have the entire group say this several times so that they get it.)
  • “So, don’t let Satan trap you into holding a grudge.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer. You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the message of this lesson.  The Scriptures at the top are provided in case you want to tell the story as context for the lesson.)

Rhyme Time

Jesus helps me to forgive,

Holding a grudge is no way to live.

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Filed under Conflict Resolution, forgiveness, God's Will, Healing, Object Lesson

Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord

Out of Orbit (Obj Lesson)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.

 

Scriptures

  • Philippians 3:12-14

Materials

  • A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
  • One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
  • Several smaller balls of varying sizes
  • Permanent marker
  • Index cards (one for each ball)
  • Tape
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use.  The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
  • Tape these cards onto different balls.  The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Me, too!  It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
  • “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)”  (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball.  Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room.  Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
  • “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
  • “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
  • “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
  • “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
  • “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!”  (Keep going around this person.)
  • “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.”  (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
  • “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
  • “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
  • “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless.  It doesn’t satisfy.”
  • “The SON won’t let us forget Him.  We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.”  (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
  • “This keeps happening over and over and over again.  It’s very frustrating!”  (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
  • “But there is good news!  The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
  • “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
  • “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON.  Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
  • “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
  • “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
  • “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth).  (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Jesus, Obedience, Object Lesson, Pride, Repentance, sanctification, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation